The poet and scholar Ahmad Mohammad Obaid traces it to the same word, but to its alternative meaning of "baby locust " Arabic: History of Dubai and Timeline of Dubai Typical scene in old Dubai, Old District of Al Bastakiya in Bur Dubai Although stone tools have been found at many archaeological sites, little is known about the UAE's early inhabitants as only a few settlements have been found. The area was covered with sand about 5, years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city's present coastline.
It also — like its neighbours on the Trucial Coast — entered into an exclusivity agreement in which the United Kingdom took responsibility for the emirate's security in Two catastrophes struck the town during the s. First, in , a smallpox epidemic broke out in the Bur Dubai locality, forcing residents to relocate east to Deira.
Then, in , fire swept through Deira, burning down most homes. The emir of Dubai was keen to attract foreign traders and lowered trade tax brackets, which lured traders away from Sharjah and Bandar Lengeh , the region's main trade hubs at the time.
Persian merchants naturally looked across to the Arab shore of the Persian Gulf finally making their homes in Dubai. They continued to trade with Lingah, however, as do many of the dhows in Dubai Creek today, and they named their district Bastakiya, after the Bastak region in southern Persia.
The town of Dubai was an important port of call for foreign tradesmen, chiefly those from Iran, many of whom eventually settled in the town. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port. With the collapse of the pearling industry, Dubai fell into a deep depression and many residents starved or migrated to other parts of the Persian Gulf.
In , a border dispute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the northern sector of their mutual border escalated into war. Private companies were established to build and operate infrastructure, including electricity, telephone services and both the ports and airport operators. This was followed by the Ambassador and Carlton Hotels in Early the next morning in heavy seas off Umm al-Quwain, an explosion tore out the second class cabins and started fires.
The captain gave the order to abandon ship but two lifeboats capsized and a second explosion occurred. A flotilla of small boats from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain picked up survivors but in all lives were lost in the disaster. More and more European and Arab firms are opening up and the future looks bright. This crossing was finished in May and was paid for by a toll levied on the crossing from the Dubai side of the creek to the Deira side.
However, by the time the asphalt runway of Dubai Airport was constructed in , opening Dubai to both regional and long haul traffic, a number of foreign airlines were competing for landing rights. The first field was named 'Fateh' or 'good fortune'. This led the emirate to grant concessions to international oil companies, thus leading to a massive influx of foreign workers, mainly Asians and Middle easterners. These were constructed by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company , which gave the beach its local name Chicago Beach until the Chicago Beach Hotel was demolished and replaced by the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in the late s.
Dubai had already embarked on a period of infrastructural development and expansion. Oil revenue, flowing from onwards supported a period of growth with Sheikh Rashid embarking on a policy of building infrastructure and a diversified trading economy before the emirate's limited reserves were depleted. Originally intended to be a four-berth port, it was extended to sixteen berths as construction was ongoing.
The project was an outstanding success, with shipping queuing to access the new facilities. The port was inaugurated on 5 October , although its berths were each pressed into use as soon as they had been built. Port Rashid was to be further expanded in to add a further 35 berths before the larger port of Jebel Ali was constructed. The decision was to pitch the coastal emirates, together with Qatar and Bahrain , into fevered negotiations to fill the political vacuum that the British withdrawal would leave behind.
Over the next two years, negotiations and meetings of the rulers followed -often stormy- as a form of union was thrashed out. The nine-state union was never to recover from the October meeting where heavy-handed British intervention resulted in a walk-out by Qatar and Ras Al Khaimah. The Gulf War of had a negative financial effect on the city, as depositors withdrew their money and traders withdrew their trade, but subsequently, the city recovered in a changing political climate and thrived.
Later in the s, many foreign trading communities—first from Kuwait , during the Gulf War, and later from Bahrain , during the Shia unrest—moved their businesses to Dubai.
Large increases in oil prices after the Gulf War encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism.